The Top 10 Stories of March 2, 2012

By Duane Shank 3-02-2012

Quote of the day.
"This is one thing that we all should do for our children every day; no matter if they''re ornery, whatever they''re going through. You grab your child, even if they''re mad at you, they''ll get over it. Life goes on. You grab your children, you hug them and kiss them and you tell them you love them.” - Phyllis Ferguson, mother of Demetrius Hewlin, 16, who died in the shooting at a high school in Chardon, OH.
(USA Today)

1. School prayer bill passes in Florida House.
"After winning the overwhelming approval of the Florida House on Thursday, a bill that would allow student-led prayer in public schools seems all but certain to become law."

2. Senate rejects targeting coverage of contraception.
"The Senate on Thursday upheld President Obama’s birth control policy, voting to kill a Republican effort to let employers and health insurance companies deny coverage for contraceptives and other items they object to on religious or moral grounds."
(New York Times)

3. Where the jobs are, the training may not be.
"As state funding has dwindled, public colleges have raised tuition and are now resorting to even more desperate measures — cutting training for jobs the economy needs most."
(New York Times)

4. Red Cross aid convoy reaches Homs.
"A Red Cross aid convoy is preparing to enter the shattered Baba Amro district of Homs after a Syrian official declared the area ''cleansed'' and the opposition spoke of a massacre by President Bashar al-Assad''s forces."

5. Saudis, Qataris push to arm Syrian rebels.
"Arab plans to arm Syria’s opposition fighters are threatening to overtake the cautious approach advocated by the United States and other countries, which fear that sending weapons to the region could fuel a civil war and lead to a regional conflagration."
(Washington Post)

6. Israeli PM demands Obama pledge on Iran.
"Israel is pressing Barack Obama for an explicit threat of military action against Iran if sanctions fail and Tehran's nuclear programme advances beyond specified 'red lines.'"

7. Iran's vote could bolster Khamenei's power.
"Iranians voted on Friday in a parliamentary election likely to reinforce Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei''s power over rival hardliners led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." 

8. U.S. defendants leave Egypt amid growing backlash.
"Two United States-financed nonprofit groups paid about $4 million in bail on Thursday to fly 11 employees out of reach of Egyptian courts in a deal that capped weeks of bruising diplomatic wrangling and set off a new outpouring of anti-American denunciations here."
(New York Times)

9. China backs U.S.-North Korea nuclear deal.
"North Korea''s powerful ally China has welcomed Pyongyang''s agreement to freeze its nuclear activities in return for massive food aid from the United States."
(Al Jazeera)

10. U.S. special forces in India.
"US special forces are present in five South Asian countries, including India, a top Pentagon commander has revealed. US Pacific Commander Admiral Robert Willard said the teams were deployed to help India with their counter-terrorism co-operation."

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